It’s amazing, with Good Newwz whose trailer was just launched, Akshay Kumar turns out to be the only Indian superstar who has worked with a record 23 debutant film directors. Karan Johar, the Dharma Productions boss man who co-produced Good Newwz along with Akshay’s Cape of Good Films, Zee Studios and Shashank Khaitan, revealed that whenever he gave Akshay a narration, the actor heard the story and decided if he wanted to make the film or not. It was that way this time too with Good Newwz and debutant director Raj Mehta. “He never asks who the director is going to be which is a question every other actor wants an answer for first,” KJo said at the trailer launch.
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In the past, among the 23 debutant directors Akshay was happy to work with have been notables like Krish (Radha Krishna Jagarlamundi) who made his Bollywood debut with Gabbar Is Back (2015), writer brothers Sajid-Farhad who got their break in Entertainment (2014), Sajid Khan in Heyy Babyy (2007), Rohit Dhawan in Desi Boyz (2011), Vijay Krishna Acharya in Tashan (2008), Anthony D’Souza in Blue (2009), Vipul Shah in Aankhen (1993), Neeraj Vora in Khiladi 420 (2000), Sabbir Khan in Kambakkht Ishq (2009), Naresh Malhotra in Yeh Dillagi (1994), Aashish Mohan in Khiladi 786 (2012), Shirish Kunder in Jaan-e-Mann (2006) and Guddu Dhanoa in Elaan.
L-R: Karan Johar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani, Diljit Dosanjh and director Raj Mehta
This year, Akshay already had a film with a debutant director Jagan Shakti in Mission Mangal. Said Jagan of working with the Bollywood superstar in his very first Bollywood film, “He is the most casual and positive person you can find in Bollywood. He is jovial and easy to work with and does not take his stardom seriously.” Then there’s also Tamil director Raghava Lawrence who makes his Bollywood debut with Akshay’s Laxmmi Bomb next year. His director Ranjit M. Tewari of Akshay’s January 2021 spy thriller Bell Bottom is not a debutant, but he’s still a Bollywood newbie with only Lucknow Central below his belt. Likewise his Kesari (2019) director Anurag Singh had a string of Punjabi hits and just one Hindi film in Raqeeb (2007) before he gave Akshay one of his career’s biggest successes. Most of the debutants Akshay trusted gave him more hits than flops at the box office.
L-R: Akshay Kumar with Mission Magal director Jagan Shakti, and Kesari's director Anurag Singh